Seminole County Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with criminal mischief in Seminole County please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your criminal mischief charge dismissed or reduced. One way to get your criminal mischief charge dismissed is by completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program. Not every criminal mischief case is eligible for a Pre-Trial Diversion program.
Former Criminal Mischief Prosecutor
As a former criminal mischief prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Seminole County criminal mischief case. It is important to understand how the other side works. Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your criminal mischief case.
Seminole County Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer Since 1999
Chris has been defending individuals in Seminole County charged with criminal mischief since 1999. Being an Seminole County criminal mischief defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Seminole County that handle criminal mischief cases like yours. Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your criminal mischief case.
Different Seminole County Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyers Get Different Results
When you have been charged with criminal mischief in Seminole County you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you. A criminal mischief conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer. The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome. The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them. Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.
Information about Seminole County Criminal Mischief Charges
A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.
Criminal Mischief Penalties
1. If the damage to such property is $200 or less, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail and/or 6 months probation and/or a $500 fine.
2. If the damage to such property is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a maximum of 365 days in jail and/or 12 months probation and/or a $1,000 fine.
3. If the damage is $1,000 or greater, or if there is interruption or impairment of a business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore, it is a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine.
4. If the person has one or more previous convictions for violating this subsection, the offense under paragraph 1. or paragraph 2. for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine..
(2) Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces, injures, or damages by any means any church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship, or any religious article contained therein, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine., if the damage to the property is greater than $200.
(3) Whoever, without the consent of the owner thereof, willfully destroys or substantially damages any public telephone, or telephone cables, wires, fixtures, antennas, amplifiers, or any other apparatus, equipment, or appliances, which destruction or damage renders a public telephone inoperative or which opens the body of a public telephone, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine.; provided, however, that a conspicuous notice of the provisions of this subsection and the penalties provided is posted on or near the destroyed or damaged instrument and visible to the public at the time of the commission of the offense.
(4) Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces, injures, or damages by any means a sexually violent predator detention or commitment facility, as defined in part V of chapter 394, or any property contained therein, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years of probation and/or a $5,000 fine., if the damage to property is greater than $200.
Combined Value Of Damages
The amounts of value of damage to property owned by separate persons, if the property was damaged during one scheme or course of conduct, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense under this section.
Any person who violates this section may, in addition to any other criminal penalty, be required to pay for the damages caused by such offense.
Any person who violates this section when the violation is related to the placement of graffiti shall, in addition to any other criminal penalty, be required to pay a fine of:
1. Not less than $250 for a first conviction.
2. Not less than $500 for a second conviction.
3. Not less than $1,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.
(b) Any person convicted under this section when the offense is related to the placement of graffiti shall, in addition to any other criminal penalty, be required to perform at least 40 hours of community service and, if possible, perform at least 100 hours of community service that involves the removal of graffiti.
(c) If a minor commits a delinquent act prohibited under paragraph (a), the parent or legal guardian of the minor is liable along with the minor for payment of the fine. The court may decline to order a person to pay a fine under paragraph (a) if the court finds that the person is indigent and does not have the ability to pay the fine or if the court finds that the person does not have the ability to pay the fine whether or not the person is indigent.
In addition to any other penalty provided by law, if a minor is found to have committed a delinquent act under this section for placing graffiti on any public property or private property, and:
(a) The minor is eligible by reason of age for a driver license or driving privilege, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke or withhold issuance of the minor’s driver license or driving privilege for not more than 1 year.
(b) The minor’s driver license or driving privilege is under suspension or revocation for any reason, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to extend the period of suspension or revocation by an additional period of not more than 1 year.
(c) The minor is ineligible by reason of age for a driver license or driving privilege, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold issuance of the minor’s driver license or driving privilege for not more than 1 year after the date on which he or she would otherwise have become eligible.
A minor whose driver license or driving privilege is revoked, suspended, or withheld under subsection (7) may elect to reduce the period of revocation, suspension, or withholding by performing community service at the rate of 1 day for each hour of community service performed. In addition, if the court determines that due to a family hardship, the minor’s driver license or driving privilege is necessary for employment or medical purposes of the minor or a member of the minor’s family, the court shall order the minor to perform community service and reduce the period of revocation, suspension, or withholding at the rate of 1 day for each hour of community service performed. As used in this subsection, the term “community service” means cleaning graffiti from public property.
In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed the crime of criminal mischief, the State need’s evidence. Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you. However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report. It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense. Some important questions are:
- Were there any witnesses to the incident and if so did they provide a statement?
- Did you provide any statements?
- Did you cause any property damage?
- What is the value of the damage to the property?
The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both guarantee that people be free from self-incrimination. In order for a person to give up their privilege against self-incrimination the person must do so freely voluntarily and knowingly and that is why a person is normally advised of their Miranda rights after arrest but prior to any questioning by a law enforcement officer. It is important for you to know if your privilege against self-incrimination was violated. If your privilege against self-incrimination was violated evidence in your case may be inadmissible. Some important questions to consider are:
- Were you questioned by a law enforcement officer after you were arrested?
- Did you make any statements that are harmful to your case?
- Were you read your Miranda rights?
In Seminole County, Florida there are three pretrial diversion programs for criminal mischief charges. Misdemeanor pretrial diversion, felony pretrial diversion and if the criminal mischief is substance abuse related such as getting high and damaging property drug court is an option. Each program has its own specific eligibility requirements.
Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program For Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief Charges
This is a deferred prosecution program for selected misdemeanor charges and for selected individuals. This program is offered by the Office of the State Attorney and supervised by Seminole County Community Corrections. Successful completion of the Seminole County Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program will result in the dismissal of your charge(s) by the Office of the State Attorney.
- You must have no prior sentence, conviction or dismissal for a similar charge, no prior felony convictions, no prior convictions for charges ineligible for diversion, and no prior adult diversion/deferred prosecution programs.
- You must be a legal resident of the United States.
- You must have no more than one prior misdemeanor conviction.
- Your charge(s) must have no more than $1,000 in restitution.
- You must be approved by the Office of the State Attorney.
- Program length is 6 months
- Program cost is $300
- Program intake fee is an additional $20
- Program drug testing fee is an additional $17
- Program phone reporting fee is an additional $6-$7 per month
- Program Office of the State Attorney fee is an additional $100
- You must perform a minimum of 40 hours of alternative community work service
- You will also successfully complete an anger management class
- You are responsible for any additional costs for classes and evaluations
Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program For Felony Criminal Mischief Charges
If you successfully complete the Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.
This a 12 month long program with the following requirements:
1.) You must refrain from violation of any federal, state or local law. If you are arrested or charged with a crime while in the pretrial diversion program, you are subject to automatic revocation whether the crime occurred before or after the signing of the pretrial diversion contract.
2.) You must associate only with law abiding persons.
3.) You must work regularly at a lawful occupation; or pursue a course of studies as a full-time student, or both. Employment must be verified by documentation only within the first 30 days of supervision. Thereafter, employment verification shall be made every other month.
4.) You must take an active part in counseling and attend all scheduled appointments. You must participate in and be responsible for program costs of any referrals your pretrial diversion officer recommends. Referrals may include, but are not limited to participation in drug/alcohol counseling, a mental health evaluation, urine screenings, General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
5.) You must immediately inform the Pretrial Diversion Program of any anticipated or unanticipated change in your residence or your employment. It is your obligation to notify the Pretrial Diversion Program of any change in your address and to comply with residence verification instructions. Should it be determined that you have moved from your reported residence or changed employment, without notice to the Pretrial Diversion Program, and are no longer able to be contacted through your reported mailing address, you are subject to automatic revocation. If you have been arrested in this case, you must also notify the Clerk of the Court for Seminole County, Florida, preferably in writing, of your address change. No Out-of-Country Travel will be approved while participating in the Pretrial Diversion Program. All Notices, summonses, or other mail will be sent to your current address. If you fail to appear in court due to paperwork being sent to an old address, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and you may be revoked from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
6.) You will promptly and truthfully answer all questions directed to you by your Pretrial Diversion Program Officer.
7.) You must pay a Cost of Supervision fee of $20.00 a month to the State of Florida as required by Florida Statute Section 948.08 unless otherwise exempted in compliance with the Florida Statutes. All monies collected by the Florida Department of Corrections will be subject to a 4% surcharge. There will be a one-time drug testing fee of $30.00.
8.) You will complete 100 hours of Alternative Community Service (ACS). ACS and all sanctions must be completed sixty days prior to the expiration of this contract or sixty days prior to any subsequent expiration date resulting from an extension or as determined by a Review Board Panel.
9.) Once the Defendant has satisfied all sanctions, early termination is acceptable.
10.) You must pay a $100.00 non-refundable cost of prosecution fee to the State of Florida within 60 days as required by Florida Statute Section 938.27.
11.) Charge specific special conditions.
12.) You will also submit to random urine screenings for drugs. Any drug test with a positive result is a violation of the Pretrial Diversion Program Agreement, and may result in additional consequences or revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
In order to be eligible for the Pretrial Diversion Program you must have no criminal history (arrests, convictions, or cases in which adjudication of guilt has been withheld, whether as a juvenile or adult), or if you have a prior criminal history, you must disclose it to the Pretrial Diversion Program. If it is found that you not been fully candid on this issue, you are subject to revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program.
If you fail to comply with any of the above conditions, your case may be subject to the following action, depending upon the violation.
- Your officer may extend the period of diversion to a term not to exceed 3 months from the date of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract, or
- The Review Board may add additional special conditions or otherwise modify this contract, or
Revoke the Pretrial Diversion Program contract and the State Attorney will prosecute you for this offense.
A Review Board comprised of an Assistant State Attorney and a representative of the Florida Department of Corrections, Pretrial Diversion Program, has been established for the purpose of reviewing any proposed revocation or modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract. Your Pretrial Diversion Officer will attend this hearing. Modification of your Pretrial Diversion Program Contract may occur if you agree to the modification, by Review Board decision. At Review Board Hearings, evidence establishing violations of conditions of the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract will be heard. You will be given notice of this hearing and may attend and present any evidence you have in your defense and/or any evidence you have to establish matters in mitigation. Failure to appear will result in automatic revocation from the Pretrial Diversion Program. The Review Board, after hearing and considering all evidence, will render a decision in writing, citing the reasons for that decision. All members of the Review Board must agree to revocation or modification. In its written decision, the Review Board will state whether it has decided to revoked the Pretrial Diversion Program Contract or allow the Defendant to continue in the Pretrial Diversion Program. If the agreement is modified, the modifications made by the Review Board will be stated. If you are revoked from the Pretrial diversion Program, you will be prosecuted for the original criminal violation. The Defendant is bound by the decision of the Review Board. The Pretrial Diversion Contract is an agreement that is a deferral of prosecution. If the terms of the agreement are met, the initial charge will be dropped and the State of Florida will be barred from prosecution. If the terms of the agreement are violated, prosecution concerning any charge will proceed.
Seminole County Drug Court Program
If you successfully complete the Seminole County Drug Court Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.
In order to be accepted into the Seminole County Drug Court Program the person:
1.) Must live in Seminole County, Florida (if you do not live in Seminole County, Florida you may be able to participate in the a drug court program if your county of residence is in Florida and they accept drug court program transfers and you otherwise qualify for a drug court program)
2.) Must have a serious drug problem needing treatment
3.) Must be a non-violent offender
4.) Must have no prior felony convictions for Diversion Track only
5.) Must be charged with:
(A) Third Degree Felony Possession Of Illegal Drugs, except a person charged with Possession of Illegal Drugs With The Intent to Sell Or Deliver Illegal Drugs is not eligible for the program
(B) Purchase Of Illegal Drugs
(C) Obtaining Prescription Drugs By Fraud
(D) Must be charged with any other non-violent third degree felony charge for VOP and Post Plea track only
General Seminole County Drug Court Program Requirements:
- It is in Defendant’s best interest to participate in Drug Court. The Defendant understands that if they violate the terms of drug court they could be rearrested, returned to their previous status, required to post a bond, be released on their own recognizance, be held in jail until their next court date or discharge from the program at the Judge’s sole discretion.
- Defendant has a substance abuse problem and is choosing to participate in the Seminole County Drug Court Program. The Defendant understands that the opportunity to participate in the Seminole County Drug Court Program is a privilege, not an entitlement.
- Defendant must freely and voluntarily waive their right to a speedy trial.
- Defendant shall participate in the Seminole County Drug Court Program for a minimum period of 7 months and a maximum period of 3 years.
Defendant agrees to fully participate in the outpatient substance abuse treatment program, which involves 3 treatment phases. Advancement to a higher phase will be conditional upon approval of the Judge based on information provided by the Seminole County Drug Court Team.
Outpatient Treatment Requirements:
- 7 months minimum, 3 years maximum
- 3 phases plus aftercare (the first 3 phases are 60 days each and aftercare is 30 days)
Phase 1 Treatment (60 Days Minimum) Consist Of:
- 3 group sessions per week
- 1 approved self-help meeting per week
- 6 individual counseling sessions during Phase 1
- Bi-weekly meetings with the judge
- Random Urinalysis
30 consecutive days being substance-free to be phase-up eligible
Phase 2 Treatment (60 Days Minimum) Consist Of:
- 2 group sessions per week
- 2 approved self-help meetings per week
- 4 individual counseling sessions during Phase 2
- Bi-weekly meetings with the judge
- Random Urinalysis
- 30 consecutive days being substance-free to be phase-up eligible
Phase 3 Treatment (60 Days Minimum) Consist Of:
- 1 group session per week
- 3 approved self-help meetings per week
- 3 individual counseling sessions during Phase 3
- Monthly meetings with the judge
- Random Urinalysis
- 30 consecutive days being substance-free to be phase-up eligible
Aftercare Treatment (30 Days) Consist Of:
- 1 group session per week
- Facilitate group discussion
- Random urinalysis
- Monthly meeting with the judge
- Random Urinalysis
- 0 consecutive days being substance-free to be eligible for program completion
6.) Defendant agrees to complete the diagnostic treatment evaluation and complete an individualized treatment plan.
7.) Defendant will be supervised by their assigned treatment provider case manager and/or the Department of Corrections.
8.) Defendant agrees to sign any and all releases required in order to allow their physical and/or mental health information to be released and/or Seminole County Drug Court Program personnel, the Court, and any other people necessary for successful completion of the Seminole County Drug Program. This information is for Seminole County Drug Court Program use only.
9.) Defendant will not change their residence, employment or leave Seminole County, Florida without first obtaining permission from their treatment provider and/or supervising authority.
10.) Defendant shall appear in open court, when and as ordered by the Court and upon proper notification at Defendant’s last known address. Failure to appear in court shall constitute a violation of the Seminole County Drug Court Program. Defendant acknowledges that they may be terminated from the Seminole County Drug Court Program and the original prosecution reinstated if the Defendant fails to appear for a court date.
11.) Defendant will not use or possess any illegal substances, alcohol or controlled substances (including over the counter medications) without a proper prescription. If the Defendant has a prescription, all new and refilled prescriptions must be provided to the treatment provider in advance of the Defendant taking the prescribed medication when possible.
12.) Defendant will not own, have in their possession, or attempt to purchase a firearm or weapon while participating in the Seminole County Drug Court Program.
13.) Defendant will not enter any establishment whose primary purpose is to sell alcoholic beverages unless it is for approved employment or other necessary purposes and permission has been granted in advance by the Defendant’s treatment provider.
14.) Defendant will associate only with law-abiding persons and will not socialize or live with any other program participants.
15.) Defendant shall submit to physical and/or psychological examinations if ordered by their probation officer/treatment provider and obtain/maintain counseling or treatment if such is deemed necessary by the officer/provider. Defendant will pay these treatment costs.
16.) Defendant agrees to attend self-help meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous as required by their treatment plan.
17.) Defendant agrees to contact their probation officer/treatment provider in advance, if possible, if Defendant is going to be late or miss a scheduled session.
18.) Defendant shall attend school or work regularly at a lawful occupation and shall participate in such other programs for evaluation or treatment as established for them by their probation officer/treatment provider. Defendant shall pay the cost of said programs and/or evaluations. Defendant shall immediately inform their treatment provider or other supervising authority of any change relating to employment, education, or treatment activities.
19.) Defendant shall truthfully answer all inquiries and shall follow all instructions from their probation officer/treatment provider and hereby grants permission for the officer/treatment provider to visit Defendant’s home, place of employment, school, or other location for the purpose of providing adequate supervision.
20.) Defendant agrees to submit to frequent and random drug testing. Defendant understands that if they refuse to be tested, misses a test, or fails to provide a urine sample that test will count as a positive (dirty) urine test. A positive urine test may result I further sanctions such as more intensive treatment, inpatient treatment, increased meetings, community service, jail time, or discharge from the program. If the Defendant wishes to challenge the validity of a positive urine test, the Defendant shall pay all costs associated with said challenge through their treatment provider.
21.) Defendant can expect to receive incentives when doing well in the Seminole County Drug Court Program.
22.) Defendant agrees that as a condition of acceptance into the Seminole County Drug Court Program, that in the event of noncompliance with the Seminole County Drug Court Program conditions (including but not limited to failure to attend required appointments or counseling, positive urinalysis or failure to show progress in treatment), Defendant freely and voluntarily waives the right to an arraignment hearing, the right to a reading of the Information and consents to the immediate imposition by the Judge of interim legal consequences and immediate sanctions including incarceration. The Court has absolute discretion as to which sanctions, f any, will be imposed for violating their Seminole County Drug Court Program agreement.
23.) Defendant agrees that they may be searched or subject to seizure without the requirements of probable cause or a search warrant at any time during their Seminole County Drug Court Program participation.
24.) Defendant may be required to pay $900.00 to the Seminole County Drug Court.
25.) Defendant shall pay $3.00 as a co-payment at each treatment visit to be paid to the treatment provider.
26.) Defendant shall successfully complete the Seminole County Drug Court Program consisting of screening, evaluation, counseling and multiple random urine screens. Defendant shall obey all Seminole County Drug Court Program rules and regulations and all treatment provider rules and regulations.
27.) The Office of the State Attorney for Seminole County, Florida agrees that should the Defendant successfully fulfill the terms and conditions of their Seminole County Drug Court Program diversion track agreement, such success to be determined the State Attorney, the offense(s) for which the Defendant entered the Seminole County Drug Court Program will be dismissed. The State Attorney may determine that the Defendant is not in compliance with the Seminole County Drug Court Program diversion track agreement and if so may at any time, prosecute the Defendant for the offense(s).
Seminole County Criminal Mischief Penalties
A conviction for criminal mischief can result in penalties in many different penalties. It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing. Some of the penalties for a criminal mischief conviction may include:
- Time in Jail or Prison
- Community service
- Court costs
*Program fees and costs are subject to change without notice*